Dutch retailers with discount prices
La presión sobre los precios que ejercen cadenas como Aldi y Lidl ha llevado a la distribución holandesa a reducir sus márgenes de beneficio.
The Netherlands is one of Spain’s main commercial partners in terms of fruits and vegetables exported to there as well as produce re-exported from there. How much produce from Spain did you export last year?
We imported 670,274 tonnes in 2015, mainly oranges -86,004 tonnes-, followed by tomato -75,534-,mandarins and satsuma mandarins -60,830-, cucumber -59,478- and pepper -48,641-. The total worth of the fruits and vegetables traded between Spain and The Netherlands amounted €1,500 million.
Big distribution chains concentrate more and more purchase volume How big is their share in the Netherlands? How did they influence the rest of commercial operators?
In our country, the most of the purchase power lies in the hands of five or six supermarkets and it follows a trend in the international scene, which is leading to a drop in the number of traditional retailers. Besides, the number of farmers’ markets, which can be found in every city, is also decreasing due to the influence of supermarkets. Apart from these channels, there are other operators that handle quite significant volumes: companies that purchase fruits and vegetables to distribute them to large communities and they enjoy much cheaper prices.
How did the spread of discount establishments and their stronger and stronger commitment to high quality fruits and vegetables affect Dutch distribution?
The arrival of Aldi and Lidl some years ago forced the concentration of Dutch supermarkets and led to a gradual reduction of profit margins. Virtually all supermarkets can be considered ‘discount’ now (even though they weren’t in practice), due to the low prices and their tight profit margins in fruits and vegetables due to the pressure from low-cost German distributors.
What do Dutch consumers think about Spanish fruits and vegetables?
They have a very positive opinion in general. The fact that millions of Dutch tourists go to Spain on holidays every year improves the general public’s knowledge of the broad range of products offered by the Spanish agri-food industry. When they set foot in Spain, Dutchmen realise of the great quality of fruits like nectarines, oranges, tomatoes, etc. and they regard it quite positively.
Which traits do consumers value the most when it comes to do their groceries?
Consumers don’t look at the product’s origin in general but at its good flavour, nice looking, attractive packaging and competitive price. It is true that labour conditions are being taken into account more and more, as are the use of pesticides and post-harvest treatments for a longer preservation during transport, etc. The significance of these questions is increasing among Dutch consumers, and the industry must bear that in mind.